14. Wedding Toasts order of toasts and speeches at Wedding Breakfast - Weddings in Wales at Craig y Nos Castle

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14. Wedding Toasts order of toasts and speeches at Wedding Breakfast

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Wedding Toasts

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Toasts are not to be confused with Speeches. Toasts may be separate from the speeches, or may be the end part of the speech, but they are separate from the actual speech.


Anyone presenting a toast should be asked to prepare in advance. The Best man presents the first toast, which can be immediately after the cake cutting ceremony but this is not necessarily so. (Note; when you are the person being toasted, you do not drink out of your glass.) The wedding host (traditionally the father of the bride) toasts the couple. Other parental figures of the couple toast the couple.


Other good times for toasts are before or after the first course is served or after the main course has been eaten. If toasts are offered after the first course, then the cake cutting ceremony should be delayed until after the guests have completed their main course.

After the Best man has presented his toast, then the father of the bride may offer a toast to the bride and groom and to the groom's parents, welcoming the union of the two families. The Groom may then toast his new wife and both sets of parents.

These first three toasts may then be followed by toasts from other special guests.



Normally your best man is the ‘master of ceremonies’ at a wedding reception so the toasts start with the best man.


If your Best Man is not up to the task, then think who should be given this role.

Toasts should follow this order:

1. The best man toasts the bride.

2. The maid of honour toasts the groom.

3. The wedding host/ person paying most of the wedding (which is normally the father of the bride but regardless of who is paying what, it should be the father of the bride) toasts the couple.

4. Other parents toast the couple.

5. The couple toast their family and guests.

You do need to nominate whoever you’d like to do the toasts to actually do them, otherwise you may end up with no toasts!

Let your toasters know in advance and also let them know the toasting order so they follow naturally one after the other, rather than look all confused (or not even being in the room, ready) when it comes to their moment.

Toasts can be after all two or three courses of the meal, or after one of the courses.

Toasts can be before or after the cutting of the cake, depending when you cut the cake. At Craig y Nos Castle, toasts are normally done at some point during the Wedding Breakfast, not at the Evening Party. If however you were only having an evening wedding function, then Toasts would be done before the first dance.

A toast should be short – it is not a speech. A couple of sentences is enough. More than two to three minutes is incorrect and becomes a speech. Toasts are not speeches.

For suggested toasting sentences, a search on google will yield some ideas. No silly stories, no rough humour, no stories or tales about the couple, no excessive drinking before the toast or you won’t be able to make any sense to the assembled guests (this may not matter). And of course, actually raise your glass at the end as a sign to get everyone else to do the same.

Incidentally the wedding couple should not sip their drinks during the toasts as this will signal guests to do the same – the toast should be short enough that the drinking of the toasting champagne is done at the appropriate time at the end of the toast, not during the toast (otherwise the toast has become a speech and you may even run out of champagne).

At the end of the toasts, the Couple then do a toast. This is phrased as a thank you to your guests for coming and sharing the day with you (it is  not you toasting each other)! You can also thank whoever was paying for the wedding (but not each other)!  You may of course conclude with thanking your partner for marrying you and giving them a kiss.

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Wedding Speeches
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Who starts the speeches, who finishes, and when do the wedding speeches get made?

You can choose when to have your wedding speeches but bearing in mind the wedding breakfast starts so late in the afternoon, it is normal for your wedding speeches to start after at least the main course of the wedding dinner, distinct from the toasts (unless dispensing with long speeches altogether and just having short speeches and toasts together).  It is of course possible to combine the Speeches with the Toasts but then you need to switch from drinking wine during the speeches, to the champagne glass being held in turn at the toasting stage, but not being drunk out of. Hold the champagne glass ready during the toast, but you (and the guests) only drink out of the champagne glass at the end of the toast.

If speeches are going to be long, then it might be worth having one speech after the main course and the rest after the pudding. Split them up to make things more tolerable for guests sitting through too long speeches. You don’t want people droning on, presenting your guests with a never ending stream of speeches!

The order of wedding speeches is normally:

1st : Father of the Bride’s Speech

The first speaker is the person paying for the wedding. It may change according to who paid for most of the wedding! Choose the parents who’ve contributed most towards the wedding. Assuming this is the father of the bride, as tradition has it, then it is the father of the bride who welcomes the guests and thanks everyone for coming. He also can welcome the groom to the new family. If combining speeches and toasts, the father may toast the newlyweds, possibly after mentioning anyone significant who could not attend the wedding.

The father of the bride will tell his own stories of the bride and may opt to comment on the groom as well!

2nd: Groom’s Speech

The Grooms speech thanks the father of the bride for the wedding and making everything possible etc, and thanks the bride’s family, the bridesmaids, and of course the bride, about whom he may have many words to say, how they first met, how much he loves her, some highlights of their time together, significant moments together, and so on.

3rd: Best Man’s Speech

The best man’s speech may be legendary, revealing, humorous or even pretty awful. Chances are you will not like it!  But you will have to pretend to like it. Ideally it should not be OTT, insulting, crude or inappropriate for the various generations of relatives and guests present.  Best man is also expected to read out any notices / letters / best wishes etc from key relatives and friends not able to make it to the wedding day itself.





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